What is the difference between a hearing aid and a cochlear implant?

The cochlear implant is an artificial ear that replaces the cochlea of ​​patients with severe hearing loss and can be compared to familiar implants and other implants. The cochlear implant is divided into an external processor and an implant. The external processor receives the sound and transmits a signal to the implant. The implant can bypass the damaged sensory sound of the cochlear hair cells to directly stimulate the auditory nerve, so that the auditory nerve is generated. Activities to reconstruct the auditory function. Therefore, the implantation of the cochlear implant does not require the patient to have residual cochlear hair cells (ie, residual hearing) as long as there is a complete auditory nerve function available.


2.Different feelings about sound

The role of the hearing aid is simply to amplify the sound, so hearing-impaired patients can regain a familiar sense of hearing. In some cases, there are factors such as poor performance of the hearing aid, improper debugging, etc., and the sounds heard are distorted (transformed) or unclear. For patients with cochlear implants, what they “hear” is actually a kind of current stimulation that is different from natural sound. For children with congenital hearing impairment (pre-linguistic sputum), they have never heard the sound before the cochlear implant, and they don’t understand the meaning. Therefore, post-speech rehabilitation training is especially important. Usually, pre-linguistic children need to go through2More than a year of speech rehabilitation training can achieve the desired results. For patients with post-linguistic sputum, several months of speech rehabilitation is also essential.

3.Different ways of wearing

Hearing aids come in a variety of styles, such as the common behind-the-ear type, the ear-cylinder type, and the popular deep-ear canal hearing aids, which are more concealed and difficult to find without serious consideration. The choice of style In addition to personal preference, the most important thing is the degree of hearing loss. Cochlear implants require surgical implantation of the electrodes into the patient’s cochlea. There is a certain risk of trauma and surgery. If the implant is damaged or malfunctions, it needs to be re-operated. At the same time, the speech processor is also an external device, which is less concealed. It is recommended to choose the appropriate hearing aid before implanting the cochlear implant.3~6Months, let the patient hear some sounds that are helpful for postoperative speech rehabilitation. But if there is no residual hearing, it is not meaningful to wear a hearing aid before surgery, because even if the sound of the outside is amplified, it is still inaudible.

4.Large price gap

The price of hearing aids ranges from a few thousand to several tens of thousands. The cost of cochlear implants includes a single cochlear implant device, surgery, postoperative tuning, speech rehabilitation, and battery repair.10Ten thousand-30Ten thousand yuan. Fortunately, there are many cochlear implant projects available in the country and in various regions. For details, please see2018Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine OtolaryngologyHead and neck surgery related preferential policies

5.Impact on daily life

Hearing aids are easy to pick and have no obvious impact on daily life. Patients with cochlear implants need to pay special attention to the following situations:

1) When the security door is passed, the implant in the body will cause an alarm. It is recommended to carry the cochlear implant identification card and the discharge certificate with you when you travel. You can explain the situation to the security personnel when the security alarm is issued.

2) Some extracorporeal machines are static andXRadiation sensitive, may be subject to security gates andXFor the interference of the line conveyor, it is recommended to turn off the external machine and hand it to the security personnel for inspection to avoid static electricity.XLine damage.

3) Avoid close to strong magnetic fields, including powerful magnets, magnetic therapy machines, magnetic resonance examination rooms, etc.

Although the hearing aid is very different from the cochlear implant, the two can also be “comfortable”. For example, we have a “dual-mode” approach to the side of the patient with bilateral severe dry-tone deafness and a cochlear implant on the other side, which is far superior to the one-sided artificial hearing aid intervention.

Whether it is wearing a hearing aid, implanting a cochlear implant, or a “dual-mode” program, it is currently the mainstream treatment program for hearing impairment. The most important thing is to carry out scientific selection according to the actual situation of the patient and aim at the maximum degree of hearing compensation and rehabilitation according to the detailed examination of the otolaryngologist.

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